Experiment Scheduling System
Documentation for Experimenters
Updated: May 2009
This document explains how Experimenters
can use the MomentumTM software to accomplish the scheduling of subjects and the
awarding of research credits. Additional explanations and instructions are
available on the website when you attempt to perform many of the procedures
Experimenter area of the website
To post an experiment, check the schedule, or award credits, and
for all experiment bookkeeping you should enter the research participation web
site the same way that all of your participants enter the site. This will
be an address of the form http://experimetrix.com/myuniv
where "myuniv" is the selected abbreviation of your university.
"experimenter.area" from the menu
(depending on your customized settings, the exact wording of this link may
differ). You will be asked
for a logon and password. Your logon is the
experiment number. Use the password that your administrator gave
department administrator will assign you an experiment number and a
For those of you who can't stand reading documentation, here's
all you need to get started quickly:
1. Get an experiment number and password
from your administrator
2. Select "experimenter area" from the
main page. Your logon is the experiment number. Use the password
that your administrator gave you.
3. Select "edit header" to provide
details for your experiment posting.
4. Select "add new times" to add
sessions that people can sign up for.
5. Select "view schedule" to look at
the current schedule and be sure to check the box labeled "Display
experiment to students". (You may need to select a view that
lists at least one session in order to see the "display experiment to
6. After the experimental session, select "view
schedule" to award credit (or penalty) to the participant.
Listed below are most of the things that you can do as an
experimenter. These options can each be selected after logging in to
the experimenter area. For specific situations, also see the Common scenarios
View Schedule (This is the option typically used
for awarding credit for past sessions)
This option displays the schedule for your experiment. A
drop-down list provides several filters that you can use to show specified
subsets of the sessions in your experiment. You can see past sessions, future sessions that are taken (i.e., for which a participant has signed up),
and available future sessions. For any past sessions you have the option
of awarding research credit, applying the penalty (for the participant
failing to show up for an appointment), or canceling the session and removing it
from the schedule all together (with no credit or penalty). Each of these
options has help associated with it which you can access by clicking the
symbol. Future sessions can be removed from the schedule from this area
also. Note that on this screen the participant names are links that permit
you to send email to them (if you are using a browser that is properly
configured to do so). Note also that changes that involve cancellation of
a session will produce an email message that is sent to the participant
informing them of the cancellation (if your administrator has that option
activated, and if the cancelled session is in the future).
The check box "Display Experiment to Students" at the
top of this page can be used to either display (when checked) or hide the experiment
from students. If the box is checked the experiment will be visible to
students only if there are future sessions in the schedule. (There is no
need to display an experiment if there is no scheduled or possible future
activity!) If the box is not checked the experiment will not be seen by
subjects who are looking for an experiment in which to participate. (You
may need to select a filter that produces a list of at least one session before
you will see the "display experiment to students" checkbox.)
Add New Times
This is the option to choose if you want to create new sessions
in your experiment. You can pick a date and time for the session, and you
can add multiple sessions all at the same time. By default, a session is
an "open appointment" in the sense that it will be an available time
for which a student might sign up. However, it is also possible to sign up
on behalf of a specific student when you create the appointment. For
example, you might have ascertained through a telephone call that a particular
student is able to participate in your experiment at a specific time. You
can simply create that time slot for them and add them right to the schedule as
you are creating it. To do this, specify the date and time, and in the
"participant" box, select the participant who you would like to
schedule. Note that only registered members who have activated their
account (that is, logged on within 3 days of receiving their password) will
appear as a potential choice in the participant box.
If you do plan to add a participant directly to the schedule, we
suggest that you do so as soon as possible after having agreed on an
appointment time. This will help prevent possible future scheduling
conflicts. We urge you to NOT use this option to create "phantom"
appointments for participants who are not expected to attend an actual session.
Instead, use batch credit or direct
credit to award credit to a participant who has not signed up for an
View Reports: This option provides
comprehensive, exportable tables that list details about your past and future
experiment participants. The tables can be sorted based on features such
as student name, appointment time, and credit amount.
This is a way to award credit to students who have participated
in your experiment but who did so without having signed up for an appointment.
(If the subject signed up for an appointment, credit should be awarded to them
through the "view schedule" page, as described above.) This
feature may be useful if you conduct "batch testing sessions" or other
situations in which people participate in your experiment without having signed
up through the web site. In these situations you should obtain the student
ID numbers of the participants. (If you do not have the student ID
numbers, then you can assign credits using the direct
credit option described below.)
The student ID numbers can be typed directly or pasted into the
box on the batch credit page. The batch credit page provides additional
information about this option. Note that any ID numbers that the software
does not recognize (if, for example, a student has not yet registered and
activated their account) will be displayed to you after you submit the
numbers. So, you can be confident that the credit has actually been
awarded unless you receive a message to the contrary.
You can use direct credit to award credit to a student who
participated in your experiment but who did so without having signed up for
an appointment. (If the subject signed up for an appointment, credit should be awarded to them
through the "view schedule" page, as described above.) Here you need the participant's
name, but not their ID number. (If you have only their ID number,
use batch credit, described above.) The
procedure is very simple--select the option from the experimenter page to see
more details. (If you have a large number of participants to be awarded
credit you may find that the batch credit option is more convenient to use than
This may be the first thing you will need to do--but then you
may never need to do it again. The header contains the description
of your experiment that is displayed to potential participants when they are
searching for an experiment in which to participate. The information
required is straightforward. A subset of the information is shown on the
"sign up" page that contains the listing of all current experiments.
The remaining information from the header is visible when the participant
selects "view schedule".
Feature: It is possible to prevent
students who are browsing for an experiment from seeing the appointments that
have already been made by other students. To do this check the box on the
"edit header" page labeled "Only show available sessions in
public schedule.". When checked, a student browsing for an
appointment will only see the available time slots.
Web experiments: It is possible to
force your experiment to appear in the experiment list even if there are no
future sessions. To do so, check the box labeled "web
experiment". This is useful if you want members to use some sort of
unscheduled resource such as a survey or experiment that is on a web page.
Web experiment login and tracking. A new option is available for web experiments. With this option a student must first provide a logon and password before they will be given the URL to your web experiment. If you enable this feature you can ensure that students who are directed to your web experiment are registered members in the system. Furthermore, the system will check to enforce any eligibility requirements associated with your experiment. Finally, when students 'sign up' for this type of experiment an appointment is automativally inserted into your experiment schedule with a time equal to the time of the signup, and a status of 'pending'. You can thus easily assign credits to studnets the way you would for a regular experiment.
You can now specify if students can potentially receive payment for participation in your experiment instead of credit. If you select "Students can be paid for participation" a new option will appear when it is time to award a session credit or penalty. The option will allow you to designate a payment amount and also an account or reference number. You may award credit, as usual, or you can designate that the participant received payment. Participants who are awarded payment will be treated by the eligibility-testing routines as if they have participated in your experiment, even though they will have earned zero credit units for their participation. Importantly, the payment amount and account or reference number for each session will also be available in "member activity reports" that your administrator can produce, perhaps for the purpose of tracking the payments.
View Past Sessions
You can see sessions from past terms if your administrator has indicated
that such information should be saved.
You can change the password for your experiment. Select
this option to do so.
You can restrict participation in your experiment to students
who have not been in certain specific other experiments, or to
participants who have participated in other "prerequisite"
experiments. Do so by selecting this option. By default, students
are not permitted to participate in your experiment more than once, and participation
in any other experiment has no bearing on eligibility for the current experiment.
The instructions on the page are easy to follow. (You can also constrain
eligibility on the basis of the prescreening survey. See the section below
Prescreening Survey Response Selector
With this option, if prescreening
surveys are enabled on your site, you can specify the particular responses that
are required in order for a member to be eligible to sign up for your
experiment. For any question in the survey you may choose to
"Ignore" the question, or you can select any or all of the potential
responses as acceptable responses. Members will be permitted to sign up
for your experiment only if they have responded with one of the responses that
you have designated. Members who are not eligible will be told simply
that their prescreening responses render them ineligible for your
experiment--they are not told specifically which response(s) is the critical
The eligibility tests are enforced only when a member is
signing up for your experiment by browsing through the experiment
listing. If you add a new eligibility requirement, there may be some
members who have previously signed up for future appointments--these
appointments will NOT be deleted. Also, the eligibility test will not be
conducted when you add a member directly to the schedule, or when you
award direct credit or batch credit in your experiment.
Set Authorization Code
You can use this option to restrict sign ups for your
experiment. If you enter a value for "Authorization Code"
on this page participants will be required to provide the code when they sign up
for your experiment. This can be useful if you wish to restrict potential
participants based on some known criterion. For example, if you previously
performed mass testing and wish only to allow people who attained a particular
score to participate in your experiment you could set an authorization code for
your experiment and then provide that code only to people who meet your
eligibility criteria, perhaps with a mass e-mailing. Then if they decide to
participate they can sign up for times you have posted, but no one else can.
Set Lead Time
With this option you can prevent participants from signing up at
the last minute, perhaps catching you unprepared to conduct the experiment on
short notice. On this page you can specify a "lead time" (in
days, hours, and minutes). Any open appointments that are not taken within that lead time
of the scheduled start time will be automatically removed from the
schedule. If a subject cancels within the lead time, their time slot will
disappear from the schedule. Note that the lead time is not the same as
the minimum time needed for a participant to cancel. That time is set by
scenarios facing experimenters:
How do I make my experiment visible in the listings?
For an experiment to be visible (1) there must be some future
appointment times, either open or taken, AND (2) in the "view
schedule" option from the experimenter page you must check the box
"Display experiment to students".
How do I create a session for a particular participant?
Select "add new times" from the experimenter
page. Select the date for the session and the start and stop times.
"participant" box, select the participant who you would like to
schedule. Click "add new times". (Only participants who
have registered and activated their accounts will be available to choose
from. Accounts are activated when the participant logs on within 3 days of
How do I cancel a session for a participant who phoned-in to cancel?
Assuming that the participant called soon enough to cancel
without penalty, you can cancel their session from the "view
schedule" page. Find the session in question and press the
"cancel" button. All records of the appointment will be
removed--the effect will be as if the participant had never signed up for the
How do I award credit to a participant who served in an experiment
"off the books" (i.e. someone who served but did not sign up through
the web site)
If you know the participant's ID number: use "batch
If you know the participant's name use "direct
(Either method will be effective only for participants who have registered and
activated their accounts. Accounts are activated when the participant logs
on within 3 days of registration.)
We urge you NOT to create "phantom" sessions for
participants if you do not expect them to actually attend. One reason is
that creation and cancellation of such sessions often results in email to the
participant reminding them of their "appointment", many of whom will
forget that it was not to be a "real" appointment. Instead,
batch credit, or direct credit should be used.
How do I remove my experiment from the listings?
Go to the "view schedule" page. Clear the
checkbox marked "Display experiment to students".
How do I award extra credit for a session that was longer
Depending on the rules governing the use of your participant
pool, you may have the option of awarding a participant a number of
credit units other than the default for your experiment. When credits
are awarded from the "view schedule" page, a box is available in which
the number of credits can be entered. The default value for your
experiment is set on the "edit header" page.
How can I restrict signups to certain people who qualified
based on some external criterion?
If you have a subset of participants who are eligible for your
experiment perhaps because of some score they obtained on some test, or
because they are enrolled in a particular course, you may set an authorization
code for your experiment. The code might be announced in class (if
all present are eligible), sent via email, or delivered via telephone.
In any case, the scheduling software will handle the details of scheduling the
appointments, and you can be assured that only members who know the authorization
code will be able to sign up. An alternative to the authorization code
is to credit all eligible students with zero credits in a "screening
experiment". (The zero credits will not affect their credit
total.) Then select "set eligibility" and make
participation in that screening experiment a requirement for participation in
How can I schedule a multi-session experiment?
One way to do this is to use two experiment numbers--one for
the first session and one for the second session. Participants can be
informed (perhaps through the experiment description in the experiment header)
that both sessions must be scheduled to receive credit. After having
served and received credit for the first session, subjects can be asked
to sign up for the second. Importantly, the eligibility
for the second "experiment" (session) can be set to require
participants to have completed the earlier experiment.
What if my experiment meets in different places on
The easiest way to deal with this is to use unique experiment
numbers for each location of your experiment. Eligibility can be set so
that no student can sign up for any one of the experiments if they had been in any
of the others. Using unique experiments for each location can help to
eliminate confusion regarding the testing location.
What if you need help?
If you have questions, you should contact your department
administrator. (Usually the person who provided you with an experiment
number and password.) You can reach them through most pages on the web
site via a link at the bottom of the page.